I have had quite the week so far! It was flying by so quickly that all of yesterday I was convinced it was Tuesday. Which was a bit bothersome when it put me a day behind with my work and the deadline tomorrow. Whoops!

Penny is settling in great with Dana and I. I’m pretty jealous Dana gets to stay home with her all day while I’m at work. We took her for a half hour walk last night and it was reasonably chilly out, especially with the wind chill. But she didn’t seem to mind! I’m amazed that she’s tolerating the cold so well, especially since she’s only been in Canada for a week! Haley came over to meet her after and brought some bones for her to chew on. Penny was pumped, and stopped scratching for quite a while, thankfully.

 I can’t wait until she can be rid of the cone – she hates it and wearing it makes her sad, but she has to while she’s wanting to scratch the irritated parts. She also got a bath. She wasn’t too thrilled about that, but she smelled way better after. I think she likes living with us, overall.  🙂

I’ve still been crossfitting up a storm, especially with the December 5th/6th Battle in the Barracks looming. Every time I think about it my stomach knots up. We had a session with Coach Eric on Saturday where he walked us through a few Battle-related technique expectations and strategies for success. It wasn’t quite as intense as I thought it would be, but I’m glad I went. It was intimidating to see some of the other athletes who are in my division. Previously, my division was called “scaled”, but I’m glad that they changed it to RX because I think the workouts truly are what would normally be RX in class.

I’ve had some small victories in class in the past few weeks that I attribute 100% to entering in the Battle. You reach a little higher when the bar’s a little higher, it turns out. Some things I’ve been pumped about in class recently (just for my mental notes):

  • We did a 100 kettlebell swings for time, with a penalty (double unders) every time you dropped it. I certainly wasn’t doing double unders if I didn’t have to, so I held on to it and did them all unbroken in 3:32. #gripstrength
  • One Saturday class was a partner play on the Bear. While one partner is doing 5 Bear complexes, the other partner is doing continuous burpees (then you switch off) for 20 minutes straight. That day I did 105 burpees.
  • For a five rep back squat, I used 155#. Holding on to those Hatch program gainz.
  • The other day I did 115# for a 2 rep max (RM) clean & jerk (split). My current 1 RM is 115# so…
  • I FINALLY did a shoulder-to-overhead heavier than 115#. My new push press 1 RM is 120#. For the love of Pete that rep max was a mental one…
  • We played around a bit with the front squat game from Event 1 of the Battle. I did 27 reps with 75# (score: reps x weight = 2025) and 30 reps with 65# (score: 1950). I’m sticking with 75# for the competition. I think I can eek out at least 27, if not a rep or two more. Coach Eric said to pick a weight you can do between 25 and 30 reps with.
  • I used a 44# kettlebell (one size heavier than usual) for swings yesterday in the 20 min AMRAP. It wasn’t too heavy, which was encouraging.

As for Dana, he had an amazing crossfit victory yesterday at Sunalta.  For crossfitters, the muscle-up is a highly coveted gymnastics movement that is difficult to accomplish, and a huge mark of achievement.  I was pretty dang proud of him when he got not one, not two, but FIVE (ring) muscle-ups during the WOD.  It was amazing!

(not Dana)

Socially, we’ve been pretty busy. On Thursday night last week, Meg and I hit up Christmas in Inglewood. I bought a few things but didn’t go too crazy. My family is attempting to tone down Christmas spending this year. Mom flew to Calgary that night so it was a busy weekend with visiting, shopping, and seeing friends. Meg hosted a clothing swap on Saturday and it was so much fun! I lucked out and got some work and casual clothes, and whatever was left after everyone took what they liked, we donated. Win-win! On Sunday, we celebrated my sister-in-law Jenna’s birthday, and I got to play with Kade and Bailey for a bit after the lunch. They are both growing up so fast!

The weekend ahead will be another busy one – a housewarming for Linds and Mitch, my company’s Christmas party, and on Sunday we’re having American Thanksgiving at Meg and Wade’s.  And of course I’ll be trying to soak up as much Penny time as I can before I have to go back to work on Monday.



Growing up, I had two dogs.

The first dog was a black and white cocker spaniel named Rascal.  She was a puppy and had a ton of energy.  I think I was about seven when we had her.  I remember her chewing on my Barbie dolls and her running in the yard.  I also remember Dad installing an “invisible fence” to keep her in the acreage yard.  Other than that, my only other memory is giving her to a farm because we couldn’t keep her anymore.  She was too much energy for our family, especially with my sister and I so young at the time.

A few years past, and I still loved dogs even though I didn’t have one anymore.  I remember pestering my relatives at a big family dinner to sign as witnesses that Mom had said I could get a dog when I turned 13.  Why 13, I’m not sure.  (And of course I had nagged and nagged to get her to say that.)

Eventually, my 13th birthday came around, and my parents and I agreed that I could get a dog.  I don’t remember if I had my heart set on a certain breed – I just knew that I wanted a dog.  One night, I was doing an online quiz through the Canadian Kennel Club (or something like it) to find out what kind of dog breed was best-suited to our lifestyle.  One of the breeds it recommended was a shiba inu, a Japanese rabbit-hunting dog that kind of looks like a fox.


Source – not Choe, but pretty dang close

So it was a funny coincidence that a few days later in the Grande Prairie Herald Tribune classifieds, there was an ad for shiba inu/minature American Eskimo pups.  From what I understand now to be a puppy mill, I got Choe.  I set out very earnestly to train her, although shibas are a hard breed to win over.  Choe is proud, theatrical, and classy.  She basically prances when you take her for walks.  When we go home to visit my folks, she does what we call a happy dance and goes crazy.  However, since she’s pretty much a wild farm dog (my training wasn’t quite perfect), she has continued to live with my parents in GP.  I have always missed her a lot, but I know Calgary is not the place for an acreage dog.

Dana and I have been together for just over nine years, and the entire time we’ve always talked about wanting to get a dog of our own.  We’ve talked more and more about it in the past year, and researched breeds and breeders.  Dana has always adored golden retrievers, and we both love Mara‘s breed (cockapoo – cocker spaniel/poodle).  Since the summer though, I’ve also been perusing the Calgary-area rescue dog websites.

Turns out though that (small) rescue dogs go like hot cakes in Calgary!  I put in three applications at different agencies for various dogs, but each one was snapped up before we got a chance to meet the dog.  I eventually said to Dana that it was probably a sign we should wait until after Christmas to look for a dog, and stopped checking the websites so frequently.  I still had all the agencies on Facebook so I could see when new dogs were listed.  This was when I noticed Armida, a cocker spaniel cross from Mexico.


I’ve always felt that if things are meant to happen, they will.  Alternatively, if you have to force something too much, it’s not mean to be.

You know where this is going right?  We applied on Wednesday to Misty Creek Dog Rescue, a few quiet days when by, and on Sunday the foster mom contacted us to see if we’d like to meet Armida.

We were nervous about her being “aggressive with other dogs” (as noted in the ad), but the foster mom has three dogs and Armida was great with them.  We took her on a little walk, and although she wasn’t sure about the ice and snow, she seemed very friendly, happy, and outgoing.  I think it’s safe to say Dana and I loved her immediately.

 The poor dog has had an allergic reaction to something since she came to Canada, and has been itching like crazy so she has to wear a cone temporarily.  She got to Canada (from Mexico) on Wednesday last week, and had been in a shelter in Los Cabos prior.  Before that, she was a street dog, and had a few pups.  (So there are a few Armidas running around in Mexico now, I’d say!)

To cut a long story short, we had our home visit by the agency on Monday and we passed, so we were given the go-ahead to adopt Armida!  We shopped for doggie stuff on Monday night and got all the basics, and I was so excited all day Tuesday!  I was like a kid on Christmas Eve.

After work, Dana picked me up and we drove through the rush hour and snow down to deep south Calgary to pick up our new dog.  She was ecstatic to see us again, and sat on my lap the whole way home.

We’ve decided to call her Penny, because pennies are lucky, and we are so lucky we’ve found her.

Last night, Penny seemed to be settling in okay.  She explored a bit, we took her for a little walk, and she napped on the couch while we watched TV.  She has a huge appetite and is a bit curious about the garbage/recycling bin, so we’ll have to keep an eye on her.  She doesn’t know her name yet, or any commands.  (Or English for that matter.)  But we are looking forward to training her, and showing her the love that she deserves.

Dana and I finally have our dog, and she’s the best.


Chicken & Wins

Today’s post is pretty random but my brain seems to be all over the place.  So I’m going to share some chicken ideas and tell you about some workouts recently.  There’s something in my post for everyone.

Chicken Ideas

Baked chicken breast

Yesterday Google taught me that baked chicken breasts don’t have to be dry or tough.  Thanks Google (and The Kitchn)!

  • Heat oven to 400*.
  • Mix “marinade” for 3 chicken breasts.
    • 2 TB olive oil
    • Juice of ½ lemon
    • 1 TB chopped herbs (I used rosemary)
    • S&P to taste
  • Cover chicken in marinade then place breasts in pan with extra marinade.
    • I used a 9”X9” pan so they were snug.
  • The important part: parchment paper.  Place a large enough piece of parchment paper on top of chicken breasts to cover, and then tuck under outside of pieces.  Press parchment paper down on chicken (it will act like chicken skin this way).
  • Put pan in oven and cook until baked through.  25 minutes was about perfect for me.
  • Ta-da!

One Pan Chicken

Carrying on the chicken theme, I also found a killer chicken thigh recipe!  And it even makes Brussels sprouts taste good!

So many interesting flavours: fennel, paprika, nutmeg, sage, apple cider vinegar, balsamic vinegar… This recipe is on my weekly rotation now!

Plus it only dirties one pan so that’s a win in everyone’s books.  Right Dana?

Personal Victories

Somewhat by mistake, I did a 235# deadlift on Friday.  Although my previous 1 rep max (RM) was 210#, after I did three touch-n-go reps at 210# at Rep the Box last month, I knew I could re-test my 1 RM.  I was aiming for 225# on Friday but on account of bad math, I got a bonus 10#.  And that’s what I call good accounting.

math in the gym

On Saturday at Rep the Box, I did the 3 RM back squat event.  My hips were feeling good.  I kept adding (we had 20 minutes to test)  and I ended at 175#, which is only 10# off my max. back squat.  Which probably means I could re-test that one too at some point.  I’m coming for you 200#!

Why do I look so concerned?

Climbed a freakin’ 21 foot rope at Rep the Box.  That’s all the way to the rafters!  Never mind that I was scared shitless, I did it!  (Of course I was trying to talk myself out of it even as my hand was tapping the rafter.)  Then the boys made me look bad by climbing it leg-less.  As if it wasn’t hard enough!



  • A blogger I’ve followed forever quit blogging this week.  Healthy Tipping Point is no more!  And it makes me sad, because her blog was so approachable and I liked reading about her triathlon training, kid-raising, and everything else.  But of course I understand her need for more privacy, and the fact that sometimes in life, you’re just out of words.  Add her to the list that also includes my old beloved Young House Love.  RIP.
  • I have a huge crush on this blog and really enjoy their discussions of healthy eating and CrossFit.
  • Excited to see the new James Bond movie!  We re-watched Skyfall a few weeks ago and it is my fave Bond film, but I’m willing to see if the new one makes the cut.